Rocking Kickstarter - How To Successfully Leverage Crowdfunding To Secure Funding For Your Business

While crowdfunding is nothing new, it is a great way to raise money for your project or business idea.  With the increase in popularity over the last couple of years, it’s become more and more competitive, and more challenging to actually complete a successful campaign and raise the funds that you need for your project or idea.  In fact, according to Kickstarter, about 44% of the campaigns are successful, with the average campaign raising $15,000.  So, how can you stand out from the crowd and get noticed and ensure that your campaign is successful?  Here are a few tips to make sure that you rock it:

Tip #1 – Have a highly defined project

One of the best ways to ensure your success on Kickstarter is to make sure that you have a highly defined project that is clearly defined in scope, and also has clearly defined success criterion.  This is important so that your backers truly understand what your outcome is, what the purpose is behind it, and how they will benefit from your success. 

Furthermore, breaking down your project into smaller, better defined chunks will allow you to have smaller funding goals, which will make it easier to raise the money you need, and also help you to build momentum.  For example, if your overall goal requires you to raise $30,000, breaking that into 3 $10,000 smaller projects will make it easier to raise funds, and as you have success with the first one, build momentum as you move forward.

Tip #2 – Reveal the essence of who you are

Let’s face it; at the end of the day, your backers are investing in you!  Their confidence in who you are as a person, a business owner, and your ability to make things happen is what is going to ultimately determine if they will back you or not.  So, make sure that you reveal who you are, and why they should invest in you, just as much as you focus on the product or service that you are looking for funding for.

Tip #3 – Make sure you are “pre-funded”

If you want to make sure that your campaign is successful, you want to make sure that you have 30%-50% of your funding already lined up and committed before you launch.  By doing the work up front before you launch, you’ll ensure that you get off to a quick start, and build solid momentum.  Also, getting people on board before you launch will help you enroll them in your success, so that they’ll want to help you get the word out.  Everyone likes to be associated with a winner, so by getting the commitment of your best backers before you launch, you can leverage their enthusiasm, as well as their networks!

Tip #4 – Have a solid launch plan

If your launch plan consists of simply turning your campaign on and waiting for the money to roll in, you are most likely going to fail.  The key to being successful is to make sure that you have a solid plan of attack, which can include: launch parties, events, PR, leveraging bloggers and influential people in your industry space, social media exposure, phoning, and various other tactics for generating buzz and driving traffic to your campaign.  The key here is to make sure that you drive enough traffic and build a big enough pipeline of potential backers that you’ll exceed your target fundraising goal without any hitches.

Tip #5 – Leverage the “dirty little secret” of online marketing

Most people that are successful with online marketing are leveraging traditional offline marketing techniques to drive people to their campaigns.  This is the “dirty little secret” of online success.  So, make sure that you are leveraging traditional offline techniques such as: direct mail, networking, presentations to targeted groups, offline PR, and any other appropriate traditional marketing tactics that fit well with your product or service. 

Tip #5 – Rock your video

Once your potential backers reach your Kickstarter campaign page, they are going to watch your video.  Your video is critical, as it’s probably going to be the main determining factor as to whether someone chooses to back you and part with their money.  So, make sure that you have a well-thought out, professionally done video that puts you and your idea in the best light possible.  Studying previous successful campaigns, and working with a professional that has a successful track record producing Kickstarter videos is a solid investment choice. 

Tip #6 – Engage with your backers and keep them in the loop

Finally, once you have successfully funded your project, the work has just begun!  You’re going to want to reach out to your backers, thank them for supporting you, and provide them with updates on your progress.  By building strong relationships with your early backers, you will build confidence and momentum which will ensure that many of them will continue to back you going forward, which is going to be a key to your continued success going forward!

Leveraging Kickstarter to fund your company is a great way to generate not only the funding that you need for your project, but also a solid community of backers that will help you launch your product or service and get things rolling out of the gate quickly.  By following the tips above, you’ll give yourself a much greater chance for success.  Happy funding!

Tom Kelly is a Professional Business Coach that specializes in working with small business owners, entrepreneurs, and salespeople. He can be reached at (630) 964-0112, or at www.businesscoachchicago.com.

 Copyright © Tom Kelly, Potential In Motion, Inc.TM2014

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